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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

From Gowns to Bags

Yeah, I've been gone for awhile from the blogasphere.  Thought you might like to see what I've been up to.....well, I've been busy sewing some draw-string bags for Spring's proms, parties and weddings. As you long-time readers know, I love going to yard sales and thrift store to pick up pretty satins and silks for these one-of-a-kind bags.  Everything I use is recycled, right down to the pearls and ribbons. These are about 4" wide by 6" tall.  Sizes vary a little, but the ones below are meant to carry only a lipstick, cell phone, and hanky on your wrist as you go down the isle or twirl around the dance floor.



This light peachy number started life as an 80s dress.  The fabric is fabulous! I just love it, and it stretches to accommodate more essentials.  But, a major problem with this fabric was it's stretchiness.  The lining needed to be stretchy as well.  Back to the thrift store where I found a blouse of a lovely polyester that had the stretchiness I needed to match the outside fabric.  Fuse them with some stretchable tricot, and Voila!  (okay, you caught me using something not salvaged, but the tricot was left-over from my sweatshirt quilt...does that count?)


I end up hand-sewing the inner lining to the outer bag with silk thread and embellishing them with salvaged pearls and ribbons.  
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This little pleated number was originally constructed from an oversized bow on an old 80s designer blouse of gorgeous ivory polyester satin.  It's so soft and silky.

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I recently developed this little lingerie pouch from the sleeve of a beautiful long-sleeved silk wedding gown that I picked up at a thrift store.  I wanted to find a way to use the beautiful lace insets along the sleeves and got inspired by a lingerie bag that belonged to Mom.  I hated to do it, but I deconstructed Mom's lovely, but stained, bag.  It had been hand stitched with a tulip embossing, so this took some time to tear down all the stitching.  I then used the bag as a template.



After showing it to my daughter, she thought it would be better to install a strap so it could be used as a handbag as well.  I made one from the same fabric I used to line it with, but I'm not happy with it...too much sheen.  I have some of the outer silk that I'm going to use instead of what's in the picture.  I attached it to the bag with loops sewn on the inside, so the bag can be used as a lingerie bag again by simply cutting off the strapping.

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This last bag is a money/dance bag.  It's hard to tell by the picture, but it's about 8" x 8", large enough to accommodate greeting cards.  This bag was a prototype for a custom order with the blue ribbon encasing the drawstrings matching the bride's colors.  This one was refashioned  from the skirt of another wedding dress of polyester blend.  The embroidered heart design is one of my favorites.  

I'm hoping to get a few more of these finished up in the next couple of weeks, then I'm looking forward to constructing a flower girl's dress from an old prom dress.  It's such a pretty turquoise.  Can't wait to show it it you.

8 comments:

  1. Oh. My. Goodness. These are simply breathtaking - I admire you for using these fabrics, I avoid them like the plague but your bags are stunning!!!!

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  2. Very pretty little bags. The last one is gorgeous, though I've always disliked the idea of paying to dance with the bride. Seems a bit like paying for sex to me. I find it offensive, and am surprised at how many "modern" women still do it.

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  3. Thanks, Guys.
    I'm with you, Sandy. But the good news is that many of the brides I've met feel uncomfortable with it, too. Most of those young ladies use the larger bags to hold cards that are given to them in the receiving line. They are still commonly referred to as money bags, though.

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  4. Thanks for the added info Karen, I've never seen anyone give anyone a card in the receiving line. Cards and gifts are always on tables at the reception, or people mail ahead of time, particularly if their not going to the reception and or coming from out of town. Sooooo, that brings me to another question, could the card practice be a geographic thing? You've got me curious?

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  5. Hi Karen, All the bags are beautiful and what a good idea to make them out of recycled clothes. It is good way to get lovely fabric at a good price.

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  6. Gee, Sandy, I don't know ... all I've been attending lately are from around the mid-west and NY city regions. I wonder if trends differ out West or in the South. Hmmmm.

    Thanks, Val, I've had fun searching and finding some really cool fabrics this way. Keeps me out of trouble ;)

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  7. Popping back in to wave hello. No doubt you're very busy, this being the busiest prom and wedding time of the year. I find the cultural, geographic, and sometimes religious differences at weddings interesting. Keep up the good work. Making my blog rounds today from Sandy's Space.

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  8. Hi Sandy....yes, I've been quite busy the last several weeks. I haven't had a chance to do any blogging until tonight, and I'm just catching up on those I follow. Thanks for checking in. Hope all is good with you, too.

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